YouTube is expanding its efforts to combat ad blockers. According to YouTube Communications Manager Christopher Lawton (via The Verge), the platform has initiated a “global effort” to encourage users to either allow ads or explore YouTube Premium.
While YouTube confirmed the disabling of videos for users with ad blockers back in June, Lawton initially described it as a limited global experiment. However, this initiative has now been expanded. In recent weeks, more users with ad blockers installed have encountered difficulties in accessing YouTube videos, as highlighted in a report from Android Authority.
YouTube’s this strategic move may prove to be an irritant for many internet users who resorted to ad blockers primarily due to the disruptive nature of YouTube’s ads. Research conducted by Tinuiti reveals that approximately 31% of U.S. adult consumers currently employ ad blockers, and this segment has been consistently expanding over the years.
Lawton emphasizes that the use of ad blockers is a violation of the platform’s terms of service. He also emphasizes that ads play a crucial role in supporting a diverse community of content creators worldwide and in enabling billions of viewers to access their favorite content on YouTube.
YouTube has made several adjustments to its advertising approach this year. In May, the company introduced unskippable 30-second ads to its TV app, and it later experimented with longer but less frequent ad breaks on TV.
YouTube appears to be leveraging these extended ad breaks to encourage more users to subscribe to its ad-free YouTube Premium service. However, a $2 price increase and the discontinuation of its more affordable Premium Lite plan could potentially make this option less appealing to users.